Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Ellipses, Brackets, and Sic

Although it is possible to include a long quotation in your paper, preferably you should only cite the "meat" of the quotation. To do this, cite the words you need and use ellipsis points (...) to cut out the unneeded material in the middle of your quote, weaving your own words around the quote to explain it.

Example

Othello is characterized by '...first, a sense of violent energies and passions... and secondly, a single-mindedness of intention and desire. (Everett 155).

If the syntax of the quote does not exactly match the syntax or meaning of your sentence, you may use brackets ( [ ] ) to add letters or words to the quotation to match the syntax or meaning.

Occasionally, printed material will contain an obvious typo. To quote the material accurately, you must not correct the spelling or information because the typo is what your source printed. Instead, add sic (Latin for so or thus) after the typo to indicate to your audience that the mistake was the author's, not your own.

Example

...In 1592 (sic) Columbus crossed the Atlantic for the first time... (Ireland 15).


MLA Quick Reference

Other MLA Sites